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The 9th Art of Record Production Conference:

Record Production in the Internet Age

December 4-6, 2014

University of Oslo

Our conference panel is pleased to invite proposals for papers dealing with the following broad thematic areas:

A. Recording aesthetics

The short yet intensive history of record production has revealed an indisputable relationship between recording technology and the finished sound recording. Magnetic tape became a harbinger of a technological revolution in the 1950s, while digital technology made its mark on the sound of the 1980s and, in more recent years, digital audio workstation (DAW), which has had a profound effect on the musical output.

  • How do we theorise and analyse the musical output of the historical as well as the contemporary use of music technology in recording studios, as well as in concert settings?
  • What kind of recording aesthetics has grown out of the new virtual musical arenas (such as the Internet), as a consequence of new multi-medial contexts?

Of particular interest are papers that address aspects of acoustic versus electronic sound (similarities and differences, affordances, perception, use of virtual sound sources etc), studio versus laptop production, and live versus recorded formats.

B. Musical Ownership and Authorship

Contemporary culture is characterized by changing means and modes of music production, distribution and consumption. This is partly due to the new musical arenas of the Internet. A crucial issue however is the potential mismatch between these new practices and existing intellectual property law.

  • How might we better describe and understand the relationship between law and practice? Should the jurisdiction within this field be altered?
  • How do “alternative” notions of ownership and authorship, based on borrowing and sharing, relate to the music-economical means for survival within the music industry?
  • How is the fair use doctrine enacted in practice, what are the implications of this practice for music makers and scholars, and what should be considered to be “fair” in given contexts?

We are particularly interested in the ways in which the attribution of authorship is legitimized in cases where a music recording is a collaborative product, either in the form of a performer/producer/songwriter/engineer-collaboration or a virtual “collaboration” through music recycling. To what extent, then, is the traditional “author figure” a relevant concept in collaborative contexts?

C. Virtual archives and new platforms for distribution

The advent of digital technologies has created new environments for the distribution and reception of music. As a consequence, user patterns, music delivery platforms, distribution and business models have dramatically changed over the last decade, and continue to evolve. Among the questions addressed in this section are:

  • What are the roles of archives and how do we conceptualize this in a situation where listeners may have access to most of music history's record productions 24/7/365?  
  • How do digital platforms for online communication and distribution, such as streaming services and social media, influence the use and dissemination of music in contemporary music culture?
  • In which ways do the various digital platforms for music distribution impact on the production of music (formats, recording aesthetics, sound quality etc.)?

The relationship between professional and user-generated content in this development is of paramount importance. To this end, we ask: How do professional and user-generated services interact?

D. Music Production in a Transcultural Space

Music production, both in professional studios and home recording facilities, are increasingly implicated in transcultural contexts. Of particular relevance is the use of interactive media by musicians and groups in both regional and international contexts. In recent years, new forms of networking have afforded forming and sustaining new communities across geographical and stylistic boundaries.

  • What are the characteristics of the musical trends, performances, production practices and approaches to recording typical of such diverse, globally distributed communities?
  • Moreover, if transculturalism emphasizes the significance of continual interactivity among certain communities, how do recordings express this? To what extent do such recordings reflect cultural diversity?
  • Is there a meaningful relationship between particular places and particular sounds? What are the musical or sonic components forming such a regional identity?

The study of record production reveals divisions based on cultural, racial, gendered, or socio-economic classifications in countless ways. This section seeks to address the fascinating phenomena of recording practices, traditions, and productions within a transcultural context.


In addition to the above themes and topics, we also welcome proposals for presentations and posters exploring aspects of music production, performances and practical demonstrations on other topics related to the Art of Record Production.

We invite contributions from any relevant academic perspective, within and outside fields, such as popular music studies, ethnomusicology, performance studies, communication and media studies, cultural studies, historical musicology, the history of technology, ergonomics, acoustics and psychoacoustics, music theory, music cognition, music and music technology education, and the philosophies of music, mediation and technology. Please include a note on methodology where appropriate, and an indication of the theme (A, B, C or D) your work is intending to address. In addition to this we would also like a short indication of your institutional affiliation.

Papers or demonstrations that require recording / studio / 5.1 playback facilities are also encouraged but selection will be subject to a feasibility study by the conference panel at the University of Oslo.

Proposals for individual papers and poster presentations should not exceed 300 words and should be in Word Document, Rich Text File or Text file formats (doc, docx, rtf or txt files).

We are using the web based tool Easy Chair to organize the submissions to ARP 2014. Please create an account and upload your submission to Easy Chair. Follow this link:

You will be asked to choose which of these 4 tracks (themes) to submit your paper to:
Recording aesthetics
Musical ownership and authorship
Virtual archives and new platforms for distribution
Music production in a transcultural space

If you have already submitted your abstract, that's fine. We will import this into the system manually.

Presenters at the conference must be members of the Association for the Study of the Art of Record Production. It costs £15 (about US$25, CAN$28, AU$28 or NOK155) for the annual subscription and you can join at:

The deadline for proposals is April 15, 2014.

Anne Danielsen:                 Host of the 9th Art of Record Production Conference

Stan Hawkins:                    Host of the 9th Art of Record Production Conference

Hans T. Zeiner-Henriksen: Host of the 9th Art of Record Production Conference

Katia Isakoff                       Director of the Art of Record Production Conference

Simon Zagorski-Thomas    Director of the Art of Record Production Conference